‘London’: Short film of William Blake’s late 18th century poem.

 

 

A short photographic film of William Blake’s poem, ‘London’. Voices tumbling over one another and the clarinet’s rounded tones meandering between mournful lines began when James discovered that Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum was due to host an exhibition on Blake’s life. Already a frequent visitor to the Ashmolean – having been their Artist in Residence in 2010-11 – he set out to visualise Blake’s experience of the capital by exploring 21st century London across a four week period in 2014. Neither choreographed nor scripted, the resulting video was born from these late night walks across the city’s bridges, parks and streets, where he photographed members of the public whose behaviour captured something of the desolation felt in Blake’s lines. When married with clarinetist Mark Farrall’s improvised fragment, the photographs and disjointed voiceover seek to reflect the isolation found in Blake’s echoing rhymes, as the repeated words and sounds rise and fall like the flow of the Thames at the poem’s opening. The film was was directed by James A. Hudson and Amy Bleasdale, and animated by Hellicar & Lewis.

 


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